Most can agree on a Christmas tree for Christmas. Some like real trees and some like artificial-it is the real trees of which I want to speak.
Full disclosure-we have an artificial tree and have for years. I really like them as they are so easy to maintain and require nothing more than semi-careful boxing and storage in the off-season. Ours looks incredibly real.
My memories of Christmas trees always bring me back to places where you find them. There aren’t a lot of places that sell trees anymore. When I was young, we got our tree at the Viking Cooperative Farmer’s Store. I think that was the full name. It was located where the Viking Diner and Antiques now does business. Viking in the early seventies still had two grocery stores, a gas station and elevator so going to town really meant something. If you can imagine being a young man from a dairy farm and trying to absorb the excitement of going to town, seeing lighted Christmas decorations and getting a Christmas tree then perhaps you would understand why the memory is dug in deep in my mind.
We usually didn’t get a tree when they first arrived. Each time I went to Viking with my mom for groceries, I would wonder if this was the day we’d get a tree. My early memories were of the tree were that it would just appear in the garage and then my dad cut the bottom half inch from the trunk.
Trimming the tree was like creating a whole new world. Some neighborhoods on the Christmas tree contained the Nativity scene while others contained Santa and his elves. The reindeer were grouped like a herd as were the unrecognizable blobs of home made ornaments that us kids had created. I wanted lots of ornaments, it didn’t matter if it looked nice. I just wanted a lots of occupants in the Christmas tree neighborhood.
I have heard that finding real Christmas trees is difficult this year. Selling Christmas trees used to be either a good side business for nurseries or even individuals who liked to hustle for a little extra cash. My guess is a lot of people have artificial trees now. I liked buying trees years ago with Lisa. It was fun to walk through the trees and decide on long needle or short, huge or small tree. I miss that experience but I guess we are artificial tree people now. It is just a bit more convenient.
Artificial or real, large or small-I hope you get a tree and have fun making it yours. Whether you like a heavily-decorated tree or just a little adornment, I hope the experience decorates your memories for Christmas now and for years to come. Merry Christmas.